Growing up, older, maybe wiser, they part ways with me. On their own, finding their path, going their own way, I see them fly.

Perhaps they stumble, perhaps they fall. Sometimes, I pick them up and hug them, offering words of encouragement, maybe direction. They wobble, then stand again on their own, and move forward, leaving me, once again behind them, watching them go.

They are on their own, even though I want to pick them up and save them from their scrapes and tumbles.

I am not their rescuer, though that is what I want to do. I am not their protector, though that is the job I willingly seek.

I am that old number on their phone, that place where there will be a cheerful voice, full of encouragement and support. I am the voice that will say “I believe in you” whenever they want to hear it.

Time moves on. They are no longer my babies. At least, that is what I say when I’m asked about them. Deep inside, they still are my kids, my little ones, needing me to hold their hands, and kiss their boo boos, and give them the love that they need. Yet, I must let them fly, go out into the world and be who they are becoming, and find their own wings.

I am, now, their believer.